The 3-0 win for Bayern Munich over Borussia Dortmund doesn’t really tell the story of the difference between the two teams, but there’s also no doubt about who’ll end up as the champion in the Bundesliga. On a less serious not, Mario Götze proved just how great of a player he is, and just how dull this trend of not celebrating against ex-teams is becoming.
With an entire stadium swearing at you and cursing your name with every breath, you expect footballers to be a bit more human, a little less professional. We didn’t ask for Götze to run at the fans with a third finger waving at them, but raising your hands showing like you didn’t mean to score isn’t very believable. Only Götze knows just how much he was bubbling inside, and maybe one day he’ll share it with the rest of us.
Dortmund were probably closer to finding the goal during the first 20 minutes of the match and early in the second half. With a made up, patchy defensive line, they had no choice but to dig deeper than usual, try and make the most of Bayern’s early, deliberate and slow ball movement, and hit them on the counter attack. A fantastic day from Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng and Dante denied Robert Lewandowski from clear cut chances most of the match, although he did have his share of big misses.
The moment Javi Martinez moved forward and stopped being almost like a third centre back, Bayern stopped being just the possession-dominant team, but also the better and more dangerous side. Philipp Lahm and David Alaba found more space to move through the middle, and Dortmund’s reliance on Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski didn’t matter anymore because their defenders were barely hanging on.
The knockout blow came through Götze coming in, showing the Pep Guardiola revolution at its finest. No striker, and no need for one. Thomas Muller can play as the pivot if he wants to – there’s enough talent coming from behind him, especially if Götze is playing, to find the net. After Dortmund made comeback sounds for a few minutes after Götze’s goal, it all fell apart for the home side – Arjen Robben in an excellent performance of being a team player is showing that he’s quite fond these days of scoring against Jurgen Klopp and his players, while Thomas Muller finished the job after another fantastic performance from Bayern’s most versatile player.
Seven points ahead of Dortmund (four from Leverkusen), undefeated in the league and the Champions League, with a squad that’s coming together and looks deeper than the Mariana Trench. Dortmund have talent in their lineup, but only when no one is injured, and the difference between Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mario Götze was plain for all to see, as the Armenian put on a disappearing act, and not for the first time.
Robert Lewandowski knows where he’s going to play next season, but that didn’t affect him. The balls just didn’t go in – too few clear cut chances, too good of a day from Manuel Neuer. At least he can feel some comfort of the old saying – if you can’t beat them, join them, which might be a very telling sentence of how this rivalry of Bayern and Dortmund is going to develop from now on.